Sitting in a stall of hay at Quoygrew

A dirt floor. A stone hearth. An open fire. No glass or windows. A turf roof. Stone stalls with hay bedding. What am I describing? A barn for animals? No, it’s a house for people. People who fished and farmed on Westray for a thousand years ever since the Vikings arrived.

These were people with enough food to be able to trade across Scotland and the Rhineland. People with skills to fish for cod and dry it and export it. People with the skills to farm and keep animals. People with hopes and fears. People with stories and songs in their hearts. People with a love of their children and older people. Generation after generation of people.

Visiting here certainly gives a better understanding of who we are and from what we’ve come.

Sitting in a stall of hay at Quoygrew - photograph (c) 2016 David Bailey (not the)

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